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Newby help with editing and stuff...

  1. Good morning,

    I am so totally new to this and still finding my way around WordPress, and I have a couple of questions. Appreciate any help.

    1. When I create a new post, from the <My Blog> screen I click <New Post> then select <Text> and write my post. I can add tags and links in that screen, but not categories. To add categories to my post I have to leave that screen and go somewhere else. I can't remember where I go, in fact I can never remember where I have to go and I end up browsing around different screens until I stumble upon the one I want. After adding the categories, I publish my post. Was this designed to be deliberately difficult or is there an easier way to do this?

    2. What exactly do tags and categories do? I mean, readers can click on them to see other posts in a particular category, I know that, but do they do anything else. I'm thinking particularly about affecting the way posts get indexed by search engines, that sort of thing. If a search string was, "civil rights, privacy" would a post with those tags come up in their search even if those specific words do not appear in the post?

    3. My posts tend to be a bit longer than most, so I compose them first in Notepad then copy paste them into WordPress. But WordPress doesn't recognise simple formatting like line breaks and paragraphs so I spend three hours re-formatting it to get the line breaks right. I have tried pasting it into MS Word first, then pasting it into WordPress but that doesn't improve things. I'm not interested in fancy indents and italic text and stuff, just basic line breaks and paragraphing. Is there an easier way to do this?

    4. Is there an English language explanation suitable for a ten-year-old child of what trackbacks and pingbacks are?

    Many thanks in advance for any replies.

    The blog I need help with is bonsaimartin.wordpress.com.

  2. danielisreading
    Member

    You should always write your posts in the Dashboard -> Posts -> New Post section (which can be accessed here for your blog: http://bonsaimartin.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php ), that is the best and most reliable way to post. You can do everything you want there, tags/categories/sharing, and is most reliable in terms of protecting against lost work, and publishing longer posts.

    Not sure if tags/categories have any effect on search engines, might help them see what the post is about. But the main purpose is in the Reader, where people can view the posts with a tag/category of let's say Paris, and can find new blogs/things to read that way, based on what they are interested in. Plus, it helps readers find similar posts on your blog. Make sure you always have less than 15 (in total) tags and categories per post, otherwise it won't show up in the reader.

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/tags/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories-vs-tags/

    Pasting from word tends to have a lot of problems, as it puts in unexpected code which changes things. So firstly, you could just write the longer post in the New Post section I mentioned before, because you can save drafts, and it does auto-save (which has improved in recent times, but isn't foolproof). If you want to paste from Word you can do so, using the paste from word button in the New Post section. http://en.support.wordpress.com/microsoft-word/
    You could also use an offline editor, which will publish the posts directly from Word, See here: http://en.support.wordpress.com/xml-rpc/

    I don't know if this is a simple enough explanation, but Pingbacks: http://en.support.wordpress.com/comments/pingbacks/
    Trackbacks: http://en.support.wordpress.com/comments/trackbacks/

    http://learn.wordpress.com/ is the best place to go through for beginners, it explains all the basics, so you should definitely read that. And there are lot's of support documents with explanations, which you can find here: http://en.support.wordpress.com

  3. If you compose in Notepad, you should be able to paste things into the TEXT editor, not the VISUAL editor, and keep what limited formatting Notepad gives.

  4. thank you. very helpful replies. much appreciated.

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